Busy Narrow Sea: A Social History of the English Channel



Temporarily out of stock

A social history of the world's busiest seaway.

It was half a million years ago that Britain first parted from Europe. As ice melted, water smashed through the chalky land bridge that separated Britain from the continent of Europe, forming what we now know as the English Channel, and the French call La Manche. The second parting, far from being a force of nature, was the choice of Britain’s islanders disillusioned with Continental rule. This new study from Robin Laurance tells the story of the people whose lives have become entwined over the centuries with this iconic seaway, a broad sweep of carefully researched historical fact lightened with a host of colourful anecdotes. This diverse collection of lives covers artists captivated by its light; writers inspired by its power; tunnellers relishing its challenges; entrepreneurs turning fishing villages into smart resorts; smugglers ruling the waves, and adventurers conquering them; and much more besides, from Napoleon through WW2 and into the modern day.

As a freelance writer, Robin Laurance honed his research and writing skills contributing features to The Times, The Guardian, The Sunday Times and a variety of weekly and monthly magazines. These features have taken him from the Oval Office in Washington to the car factories of Japan; the sugar estates of Brazil; the Presidential Palace in Turkey, and the coconut plantations of southern India. He spends his leisure hours on boats, and guiding visitors round the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

26 b/w illustrations

ISBN: 9781803996820
Format: Hardcover
Publication date: 01/09/2024
RRP: $49.99
Pages: 224
Dimension: 234mm X 156mm
Imprint: The History Press